DOBSON — For years, the United Parcel Service – or UPS – posed the question, “What can brown do for you,” as its slogan.
East Surry’s varsity boys basketball team finally provided an answer to UPS’s inquiry nearly 13 years after the slogan was retired: 29 points, seven rebounds, six assists and a steal is what Brown can do.
A career-high 29 points from senior Luke Brown led East Surry to a 70-56 road win over Surry Central on Jan. 17. The Cardinal win breaks a tie with the Eagles for second place in the Foothills 2A Conference.
Basketball games can’t be won in the first quarter, but East showed that a strong enough start can make all the difference at the end of the night. The Cardinals (7-5, 5-1 FH2A) outscored the Golden Eagles 22-9 in the first quarter, then both teams scored 14 points in the second quarter and 15 points in the third quarter.
East Surry slightly outscored Surry Central 19-18 in the fourth quarter.
The Cardinals have now won three straight after enduring a five-game losing streak. The Eagles (12-3, 4-2 FH2A) drop back-to-back games for the first time since Feb. 2022.
All five of East Surry’s starters scored during the 22-point first quarter. Brown and Jordan Davis each scored six in the quarter, Folger Boaz and Daniel Creech scored four each, and Brett Clayton had two.
The Cards scored their 22 points on 11 2-point field goals, and nine of those came off assists. East finished the night assisting on 21-of-29 field goals (72%). Boaz, who finished with five assists on the night, dished out four of those in the opening quarter.
Surry Central never led during the game. Creech scored first for East Surry, then Central’s Josh Pardue, who led the Eagles with a season-high 20 points, responded on the other end. East went up 8-2 before Central scored again, then the Cards went on a 10-0 run.
Tripp McMillen, who nearly had a double-double for Surry Central with 17 points and nine rebounds, started the second quarter by attacking the basket, then Pardue found Brian Williams on the perimeter for a 3-pointer to cut the game to single digits. Boaz and Davis responded for the Cards, but McMillen followed with two more field goals to make it an 8-point game at 26-18.
Brown made his first of three 3-pointers to once again put the Cardinals up by double figures. Brown shot 3-of-4 (75%) from beyond the arc, while East Surry shot 4-of-9 (44%) from deep as a team.
Surry Central finished the night 3-of-16 (19%) from 3-point range.
East Surry led by as many as 18 in the third quarter at 51-33. Central didn’t score more than three uninterrupted points in the second half until the final 75 seconds of the third quarter. Ayden Wilmoth hit a 3-pointer with 1:10 to play in the period, then McMillen got a quick steal and layup.
Despite trailing 51-38 entering the fourth quarter, the Eagles looked to have some momentum building after its late scoring stretch while also holding the Cardinals to six points in the final 5:23 of the third. That momentum was squashed in the fourth when a field goal from Jacob Mitchell gave Central its only two points through the first 3:10 of game time. East Surry, meanwhile, went on an 8-2 run thanks to a 2-pointer from Boaz and 3-pointers from Brown and Creech.
East’s largest lead of the night came after a Clayton bucket under the basket with 4:15 to play, putting the Cardinals up 61-42.
Central fought back and went on a 9-2 run. The Eagles stopped shooting 3-pointers during the run and the fourth quarter as a whole, attempting only one in the fourth after taking five in each of the first three quarters to little success.
Mitchell started the run with back-to-back baskets from the low block. McMillen made a pair of free throws, then Pardue made the first half of the 1-and-1. Pardue then made a steal on defense and turned that into two points.
The Cardinal lead never fell below 10 points, though. Central cut the lead to 63-51 after its run, but East scored seven of the game’s final 10 points.
Brown was East Surry’s leader in points, rebounds and assists, while Jordan Davis recorded a team-high three steals and the Cards’ only block. Six Cardinals recorded assists, and four of those had at least three assists: Brown, Boaz, Davis and Clayton.
McMillen led Surry Central in points and rebounds. Pardue and McMillen each had one steal, while Pardue and Eli Scott each recorded a block.
The teams tied in the rebounding column with 25 each. East Surry finished with 21 assists to Central’s 12, and the Cards won the steals battle 7-2.
The Eagles had two blocks to the Cardinals’ one.
East Surry – 22, 14, 15, 19 = 70
Surry Central – 9, 14, 15, 18 = 54
ES: Luke Brown 29, Jordan Davis 13, Daniel Creech 11, Brett Clayton 11, Folger Boaz 6
SC: Josh Pardue 20, Tripp McMillen 17, Jacob Mitchell 10, Ayden Wilmoth 4, Brian Williams 3
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